Parapsoriasis is not a type of psoriasis Psoriasis Psoriasis is a chronic, recurring disease that causes one or more raised, red patches that have silvery scales and a distinct border between the patch and normal skin. A problem with the immune... read more . It is so-named because it causes scaly patches (plaques) to form on the skin that appear similar to those caused by psoriasis. The difference between the two disorders is that in parapsoriasis, the plaques are thinner than they are in the most typical form of psoriasis.
There are two forms of parapsoriasis:
Small-plaque parapsoriasis is usually noncancerous (benign). However, extremely rarely, small-plaque parapsoriasis turns into cutaneous T-cell lymphoma Cutaneous T-cell Lymphomas Cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (CTCL) are a rare, persistent, very slow-growing type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of a type of white blood cell called lymphocytes. Lymphomas (see also Overview... read more (CTCL), which is a type of skin cancer that is caused by specific types of white blood cells called lymphocytes White Blood Cells The main components of blood include Plasma Red blood cells White blood cells Platelets read more .
Among people with large-plaque parapsoriasis, 10% develop CTCL every 10 years.
Symptoms of Parapsoriasis
The plaques usually do not cause symptoms. They typically look like thin, scaly, dull, pink patches and may have a slightly wrinkled or thinned appearance.
In the small-plaque form, plaques are less than 2 inches (5 centimeters) in diameter. In the large-plaque form, plaques are greater than 2 inches (5 centimeters) in diameter.
Sometimes the plaques of small-cell parapsoriasis develop on areas of skin served by specific nerves that come out from the spinal cord, especially on the sides of the back and abdomen. These plaques are called digitate plaques because they look like fingers (digits) and can be over 2 inches (5 centimeters) in size. These plaques rarely become CTCL.
Diagnosis of Parapsoriasis
A doctor's evaluation
Sometimes skin biopsy
Doctors base the diagnosis of parapsoriasis on how the scales and plaques look and where they appear on the body.
Sometimes, doctors take a sample of skin tissue and examine it under a microscope (biopsy) to rule out other disorders.
Treatment of Parapsoriasis
Includes phototherapy, corticosteroids, or both
Treatment of small-plaque parapsoriasis may not be needed but can include skin moisturizers Moisturizing agents (emollients) Topical medications are medications applied directly to the skin. They are a mainstay of treating skin disorders. Systemic medications are taken by mouth or given by injection and are distributed... read more (emollients), tar preparations, or corticosteroids Anti-inflammatory agents Topical medications are medications applied directly to the skin. They are a mainstay of treating skin disorders. Systemic medications are taken by mouth or given by injection and are distributed... read more applied to the skin, phototherapy Phototherapy Psoriasis is a chronic, recurring disease that causes one or more raised, red patches that have silvery scales and a distinct border between the patch and normal skin. A problem with the immune... read more (exposure to ultraviolet light), or a combination.
Treatment of large-plaque parapsoriasis is phototherapy (narrowband ultraviolet B [NBUVB]) or corticosteroids applied to the skin.
Prognosis for Parapsoriasis
The progression of both forms is unpredictable. People undergo periodic follow-ups and biopsies to determine whether they are at risk of developing CTCL.